May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month: How to reduce your risk

Health

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and it’s cancer that continues to be the most common in our country.

Over 3-million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year but there are so many things you can do to help prevent yourself from getting it.

Skin cancers, like Basal Cell Carcinoma, develop as we get older from continued exposure to UV radiation from the sun. Most skin cancers can be treated and removed, but Melanoma can be deadly.

The belief in the medical community is that because the population is living longer, its prevalence has gone up significantly. 22News spoke with a man from Agawam who recovered from a battle with skin cancer.

“It’s prevalent,” said Robert Kay. “My legs and I had it on my head, on my neck. Due to my sun exposure as a child, eventually you are going to get something. That’s what my doctor said.”

Dr. Richard Arenas, a surgical oncologist at Baystate Health explained, “It turns out those effects by ultraviolet radiation and sun exposure is cumulate so you live longer you are cumulating those effects.”

This is why it’s important to start practicing preventive measures early like wearing protective clothing, applying sunscreen, and remembering to keep doing it.

Dr. Arenas also said to keep in mind that tanning salons, exposes you to the strongest amount of UV radiation.

People with fair skin are most at risk for skin cancer. However, even if you have a darker skin tone, you still are at risk, especially if you don’t take steps to protect your skin.

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